Shopping (Kevin Arnold photo)
Chemainus has quietly evolved into one of Vancouver Island's more charming boutique shopping locales.
Antique stores, fashion outlets, art galleries, gift shops and quality confectioners line two blocks of Willow Street, the town's main shopping drag. Classy coffeeshops and relaxed dining spots allow shoppers to rest and refresh as needed.
Leave the car in the free lot at Waterwheel Park across from the Visitor Centre and enjoy the compact walkabout. Additional shops in the Old Town neighborhood warrant the two-minute stroll down the hill.
An open-air market is held in downtown Chemainus on Wednesdays throughout the summer. In early July and late August, the town hosts a "giant market day" that fills Willow Street to the brim with street vendors.